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New Teacher ..help!

teaching 7-9

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#21 Celia UK

Celia UK

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Posted 27 November 2016 - 07:05 PM

My advice would be to make some 'damp boxes' to store pieces from one week to the next. Large, lidded plastic box with about a 1" thick layer of plaster in the bottom. Several of these can stack and the work can be stored for weeks without drying out. Saves all that wrapping in polythene and spraying - I only discovered these after I retired from teaching and wished I'd known about them before. I have several in my home studio so I don't have to worry about pieces drying out before I can get back to finishing them. Google 'magic box for clay' and/or Tim See for YouTube video showing how to make.
Red/brown earthenware is a nightmare to clean up and stains everything! I'd stick to clay if I were you.
You definitely need some one session projects so that the students get to see results quickly - certainly in the beginning! It keeps them interested if they get to see a finished pieces quite quickly initially. They'll be happier to take longer over subsequent projects.

Try every idea out yourself first - you'll work out the difficulties in advance AND have a finished product as a teaching aid and motivator for the students! Have an 'extension' activity/idea up your sleeve for students who whizz through at a record pace - there's always one!
Don't underestimate the time it takes to clear up - get the students into good habits and be a good timekeeper yourself, otherwise you'll spend more time clearing up than you do teaching!

Agree with the 'candling' in the kiln suggested above. The one and only time I had work 'explode' in the kiln was because I'd been in too much of a hurry and a piece wasn't completely dry.
Good luck and enjoy!
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#22 keith barber

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 01:53 PM

Straightsview photos, how is it going now you are a third of a year in?


I also teach grades 7-9 ceramics and have tried many approaches in my years, and i started with little ceramics info only. my heart went out to you immediately reading that start of september post. 


Im going to spill all my guts but not all today, I am in the middle of making a workbook to be used by myself and students or anyone else. Im a Canadian Salaried Teacher so wont be selling it, but I can give you bits as i go and when i eventually get it all together then you can just print it off as many times as you need, share it etc...


quick questions- How much time do you get with your groups- 8 sessions of one hour or 8 half days or what? how many students? do you need classroom learning community building or are you already strong in that from teaching in some other setting?


describe your situation in more detail, budget, curriculum goals etc... and i can be even more helpful. 


i just joined this website as a member looking for advice so I stand beside you friend. 



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